Friday, I saw the surgeon for my 6-weeks post-op appointment, and also got my first fill. I knew going in that at each appointment, the fills are “to be determined” but I was pretty confident that it was going to happen. When I first started eating four weeks ago, and by eating I mean swallowing mush with a spoon, I would feel signs of restriction after a ½ cup or so, which eventually turned into restriction after a full cup, and by my appointment on Friday I could eat way past a cup if I wanted to. Now, I have been a good girl by sticking to my cup allotment for each meal, but after my food was gone, I felt like I COULD keep eating, and that’s how you know you need a fill.
Restriction is different than being full like we are used to. Full is a feeling that your stomach has reached maximum capacity (or more) and usually results in having to undo the button on your pants, or at least it did for me. Restriction, on the other hand is a feeling in the chest, kinda like you have a big burp to let out, except you don’t really have to burp at all, it’s the magic signal from the band.
[WARNING: Read on at your own risk, this post involves needles. It’s important for me to share as truthfully as possible as this blog is intended to help educate people interested in the band as well as for me to get my story out. ]
The surgeon agreed I needed a fill so he had me lie on a medical table in the examination room. I don’t know what I was expecting but there were no rubber gloves or any please put on this gown opening to the front. I just laid on the table and pulled my shirt up to my bra. The surgeon then asked me to do a sit up and put a pillow under my lower back so that my butt and shoulders were on the table but my stomach was raised. He gave me a shot of Novocain in the area, which felt much like any routine flu shot, and then once the area was numb I did another sit up and he shot me in the port with a second needle filled with saline. The fluid amount was 1cc in my 10 cc band (one cubic centimeter which is also 1 ml of liquid, not quite sure why they can’t just say that to begin with.) I was given a Band-Aid and a paper cup to sip from. The liquid went down just fine so then the nutritionist came in to make sure my diet was going well, was VERY pleased with my weight loss, and I was on my way.
So now as of this week I’m on regular food and I have gotten some mixed banding signals. Breakfast was cottage cheese and applesauce and I felt the restriction loud and clear after a cup. Lunch was two squares of pizza at a birthday party and I felt just some restriction. Dinner was one chicken enchilada and I could have kept going but I didn’t. So basically, I will for sure need a second fill in a few weeks and that’s okay. That’s the beauty of the band, it’s totally customizable. Most patients require many fills before they reach a point where they are in a good place, also called the “green zone” in our lingo.
One of the NSVs (non-scale victories) that happens when you lose a significant amount of weight is you almost lose your wedding ring. If you really lose it then you have terribly bad luck in my culture so no one wants that to happen. For me this means packing up the real ring and bringing in an imposter. I just can’t walk around without a wedding band, my finger feels naked, and I like to look co-dependent and taken I guess. I searched online and found a ring that was comparable to mine to wear until I loose enough weight were getting the real one resized makes more sense. Here is a pic of what I ended up with, real on top, faux on the bottom.
Both are hearts. I also wanted that to be the same. Consistency is key when you are trying to fake people out. Funny thing is, even though I much prefer my real diamond, I kinda like the fake setting better, I think the center stone looks more prominent and special. I have mentioned to my husband casually that I may never size the real ring at all, just buy a new setting for my heart….hmmmm….we shall see!!
So I have lost 30% of my excess weight, I’m getting rid of fat clothes left and right and wearing the jeans that have been abandoned at the bottom of my drawers again. What better way to commemorate this milestone than with a tattoo. I already had two tattoos, a Cardinal on my foot to symbolize my husband and I being college sweethearts, a sun/moon combo on my back for my two kids who really are the sun and moon, and now this one was finally going to be for me. As a writer, I love quotes and words; I love how simple phrases can be so short and yet mean so much at the same time. I’m a musical theater girl, overdramatic and romantic and song lyrics have always had a special place in my life.
The first time I saw RENT was in 1997(original cast) and I have seen it 4 more times on stage since. It still stands as my absolute favorite musical. My husband even took me on a surprise trip to New York on our Babymoon (google it) to see it on Broadway! And of course, the main theme from the show, “No Day But Today” has been like a mantra for me many times in my life. Now it seems I am truly living it. In all the craziness of a mom’s life, I did something for myself for a change. I did something drastic and life-changing for myself without worrying about what will happen down the road. I looked aside from statistics, surgical side-effects and complications and just went for it because, no one has a crystal ball that I know of and I want every minute I have with my family to count. So I got the tattoo right above my port scar, because my band is the manifestation of the words for me....